This is the house that Todd built. Perhaps. Todd Palin claims he built his family’s house on Lake Lucille (above) in 2002 with the help of a few “buddies” who are building contractors. At the same time, less than a mile away, Palin pals and political contributors were building the monument to Sarah Palin’s stint as the Mayor of Wasilla (pop. 5500), The $12.5 million dollar Wasilla Sports Complex. Were the Complex contractors Todd’s “buddies?” If so, is this unethical or illegal?
Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice looked into this, and feels it is an apparent conflict of interest at the least; others less coy call it a kickback. Commenters in the blogosphere think the matter is either an example of Alaskan neighborly mutual assistance or small-town graft as per usual. One comment wondered if these “gifts” of professional labor were indicated on the Palin’s IRS returns; another claims Mr. Palin was out-of-town when the new house was built.
Outgoing Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin managed to get zoning variances so she could sell her old house on Wasilla Lake and exemptions to build the new Lake Lucille house without the permits that would have recorded the contractors involved.
Mayor Hockey Mom left office sticking Wasilla with a debt of millions for the Sports Complex, which has not been the profit center she promised. As Governor, Sarah Palin gave the Complex $630,000 in state funds while cutting essential services.
If this sounds like the Ted Stevens situation, recall that Sarah Palin was Director of that Senator’s 527 group, “Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service.” Given the revelations in the Voice article, the Palins need to identify Todd’s builder “buddies” and their contributions to the house project.
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.